General · PvE

When PuGs are Win

So I haven’t been doing randoms PER SE the past day or so – I’ve been running specific dungeons for specific drops – only one has dropped so far, and since it means I don’t have to run H ToC or H PoS on purpose for a while, I’m okay with that. My first run today was a reg PoS. Pretty straight-forward. We run in, have no problems. The tank seems to be in some really good gear, and I believe he was running one of the DPS, a mage, for a drop. We plow through the trash and down Garfrost without a hitch. Roll for the staff that drops–

And the DK and the mage immediately drop group, leaving me and the two DPS (Ret pally Cloudydaze of Silvermoon and Hunter Quassimodo of Terenas, both of whom don’t mind being mentioned by name, for the record) to requeue and wait for a tank.

We wait.

Cloudy gets a bit bored and pulls one of the trash mobs. No prob, I’ve got leet heals, they’ve got leet deeps. It IS regular PoS, after all, not Heroic. We pull another. And another. And suddenly we’ve easily and without issue cleared all the trash up to Ick and Krick.

“I don’t expect to tank ick in DPS gear,” Cloudy says, and we all agree. There’s a minute or two of silence, and then he says, “I could maybe try, if you guys wanted.”

“What’s the worst that could happen?” Quassi asks. “We die?”

“I’m game if y’all are,” I say. So we hitch up our trousers, tighten our belts, adjust our helms, and dive in. There’s lots of movement. We strafe out of the puddles, we run like mad away from the arcane bombs.

And then, suddenly…

click for the full screenie

We did it. We three-manned Ick with two DPS and a healer. Yes, it was regular and honestly we could probably all have been running it Heroic, but STILL. The point stands that we had no tank and we downed a boss anyway. And that makes me happy.

After that, we decided to wait for the queue to give us a tank, because the next trash would undoubtedly murder us, quickly, and we got to chatting. About various MMOs, and then about whether we got more purples from vendors, crafted, or drops. I asked them if they minded me posting the screencap without their names blurred, they asked where my blog was. (HI GUYS!)

Eventually, we went our separate ways. We were gonna try and requeue altogether, but I needed to feed the dog, and run errands (which I realised too late I CAN’T run, because I don’t actually have the money for it), so we went our separate ways. I may never run a random with them again, but they were AWESOME. And hopefully they’ll stick around here so we don’t completely lose touch. :)

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PvE

Milestones

So I hit two of my own personal milestones today, and I’d like to talk about them. :)

1) Lisann (I had to add the extra “N” when she transferred) dinged 70, and
2) I became a member (not just a friend) in a raiding guild

In sight of the finish line

Almost exactly five months ago, I introduced my tiny reader base to my baby paladin, Lizzy. I talked about how I’d run LFD as holy on a whim, for the shorter queue time, and ended up really enjoying it. Since then, that baby paladin has been renamed Lisan, turned into a Dwarf, and (as of earlier tonight) moved to her new home on Eldre’Thalas. I’ve started learning more and more about my class (which… I admit to knowing very little past the basics on any other character I’ve played, though I do attempt to know at least that), and how to be the best healer. I’ve made an attempt to stay gemmed and glyphed, and it’s really been both the most fun and the most informative levelling I’ve ever had.

And speaking of that server transfer, that leads into the next point.

My place in the world (of Warcraft)

Tonight, I decided to transfer Lis to ET earlier than expected. I was originally planning to wait until 4.0 hit, to transfer for the new batch of levelling that would be needed when Cata hit, and until then I’d stick on Ysera, with my guild, and run heroics and maybe even convince them to take me on some alt runs so I could get some raid experience before I went over to to try my hand at being a real raider. But then tonight I was thinking: I have a little extra money, and I generally live paycheck to paycheck. It’s going to be hard enough making sure I’ve saved up for the xpack, and having enough for the transfer as well would be… difficult.

So I transferred her. I poked Kurn on twitter, she said she was just about to log in, and she tossed me an invite. And promoted me to “member”.

Now, in most guilds I know of, “Raider” is the dedicated raiding team, “Member”s are the who raid, but not as regularly, “Alt”s are (obviously) alts of the raiders and members, and “Friend” is the non-raiding population, usually just friends of the raiders and members. I’ve only been in one raiding guild in my WoW career, Hano’s guild on Ysera, and I’ve been a “Friend” that whole time. Due to how their ranks are set up, that makes me a “Member”, but I wasn’t someone they looked at and said “hey, we’re short DPS, we should invite Apple!”

And now I’m a Member. I’m a member who hopes desperately to be a Raider once we’ve all gotten up to 85 and started raiding in Cata. It’s… strangely one of the more exhilarating feelings I’ve ever had. Hitting 80 for the first time was… cool. Hitting 80 on Lis will be extremely exciting. My first 1-80 levelling. :D I mean, you have to level to 55 to roll a 55 DK, but… it’s not the same, when it’s a different character finishing off the grind. But even the idea of hitting level cap is not as exciting as the realisation that I’m… a real, proper member of a raiding guild. I’m not just a tag-along, hanger-on, standing on the sidelines. I mean, there’s nothing wrong, obviously, with being a non-raider in a raiding guild that allows them. But as someone who’s kind of… dreamed of raiding since I realised it existed? This is kind of a dream come true.

And getting to do my first real raid with the people of , who I’ve been chatting with in gchat and on the forums and on twitter? That’s makes this cake better than bakery. It makes it grandma’s amazing homemade buttercream-frosted 2-layer chocolate cake, okay? I love these people so much already, and I know from trusted sources (aka Kurn) that many of them are good players. I know they’re not going to call me a noob (at least, not maliciously) and that they’ll not hate me if I’m not perfect.

So basically… today was good, despite having to call out of work because I was sick. :) I love you guys, Apotheosis. And I love all you readers. (And I especially love those of you who read and are Apotheosis, mwahahah.)

I love days like this.

PvE

Open Letters to Tanks

[note: more than average cursing in this one. I like my expletives when I’m pissed.]

Dear Tanks,

I don’t care who you are. I don’t care if you’ve got a healing offspec or heal in the top raiding guild on the battlegroup or if you’re an expert on holy pallies or my best friend or UTHER HIMSELF.

You do not tell me how to heal in party chat. Hell, or at all. The only people who will ever be able to tell me how to heal will be my holy pally GL and my healing lead. If you want to offer healing “advice”, don’t do it in any public chat, do it in a fucking whisper. I’ll probably still tell you to stuff it unless you do it very politely and nicely in an attitude of helping me be a better healer (rather than the attitude of annoyance that I’m slowing you down because I require time to drink). But I probably won’t drop group when you’re at 14% health with four mobs on you.

Do it in party chat, and all bets are off. Have fun waiting for another healer or making due with the enhancement shaman, you dickwad.

No love,
Apple, your disgruntled holy paladin.

Dear Druids of All Shapes (especially bears),

Innervate does not negate the need to drink. I do not need to conserve my mana so that your fucking Innervate cooldown can keep up with my mana usage. I don’t care if you think you should be able to NEVER STOP ONCE for me to drink because you’ve popped Innervate on me. It’s a great cooldown and I really appreciate it, especially mid-boss fight, don’t get me wrong, but it is not a substitute for stopping to drink every once in a while.

Also, on behalf of Boomkins and Trees everywhere, Paladin tanks, if you want to chain pull and never ever stop for your deeps and heals to drink, and you ask your Druid for Innervate so you don’t have to stop to drink in the midst of your chain pulling… it will almost certainly be on cooldown. Because they need to use it on THEMSELVES, to keep up with you, you jerk. Slow down and watch your healer’s mana, especially.

No love,
Apple, who prefers her filtered draenic water, thanks.

And, last but not least…

Dear Tanktard of the Day,

You know why I use Holy Light instead of Flash of Light? Well, the first is because you’ve got five mobs on you and your health is at 80%, not 95%. The second is because there’s some AoE damage going on with the melee DPS. I’m glyphed for Holy Light, so when I cast a Holy Light on you, even if it overheals you some, it’s also splashing over and healing them a bit, which makes me feel less worried about the state of their HP.

The third is because I don’t want to get too used to using Flash. If I do any raiding before Cata hits, I will be doing it in a Holy Light build, not a Flash of Light build. You chain-pulled the entire room, and only at the END did I pop my low-mana macro. Even if I’d been using FoL, I’d’ve been casting it so constantly that I would’ve wanted to drink anyway. So shut the FUCK up and stop telling me how to heal. I can manage my mana pool just fine – drinking is part of the caster experience, and you can fucking suck up and deal with it.

No love,
Apple, who feels absolutely no guilt for dropping group when you were at 14% health, you asswipe.

Dear Paladin Tank from Durnhold yesterday,

Thank you for being awesome. Thank you for looking out for my mana bar. Thank you for holding aggro. Thank you for taking charge but not being a dick about it. Thank you for not pulling groups that you couldn’t handle. Thank you for putting supplemental buffs on all of us and keeping up with them. Keep being awesome.

Much love,
Apple, who wishes more tanks were like you.

Dear Warlock from Yesterday,

Thank you for soulstoning me. You rock.

~Apple

PvE

Brief thoughts on 25-man raids

Important thoughts? Not really – I’ve run one (count ’em) 25-man raid in my life, when a guildie got me into a PUG for ToC25. That’s where I got my oh-so-gorgeous Greaves of the 7th Legion, which replaced whatever wannabe Ugg boots I’d been wearing before.

I like to look good, what do you want from me?

Anyway, part of me is… nervous, at the thought of running 25-mans, and the realisation that come Cata, I’m going to be. My computer isn’t the worst out there, but sometimes my lag gets NUTS. Now, part of my problems tend to be that when I’m running randoms, people don’t actually wait for me to phase in fully before aggroing the nearest trash. Which doesn’t bother me much when I’m DPSing, but when I’m HEALING, it can mean a wipe before I’ve even had a chance to see what’s going on. Which I then get blamed for. I hate it.

Of course, if they wait, I zone in, start buffing, by the time I’m done, the lag tends to have evened out. And if I start lagging again, if I can warn the others in time and they LISTEN, it clears up pretty quick. It’s not a CONSTANT problem. Which, I suppose, is why I shouldn’t be worried – a random 5-man is not the same as a guild-run 25-man. There will most likely be vent. There will be ready checks. If I’m lagging, or not zoned in, I can say, “Man, it’s taking a long time to zone me in, hang tight,” and I can rest easy knowing that if they decide to start pulling trash anyway, they’re doing it consciously without my help. Which means if somehow we wipe, no one in their right minds will be blaming me.

Still. It makes me wring my hands and fret. What if my lag’s too bad? What if I just can’t get 25-man raids to work properly for me? What if I lag a bit and they get annoyed with me while I’m figuring out how to compensate for it? WHAT THEN?

I’ve got a plan, though. It’s a good plan. If, when I finally start raiding, I have bad lag, I will make sure my graphics are turned down and I will turn off ALL non-essential addons. Considering that, at the moment, anyway, the only essential addons out of the many I use are Vuhdo, Bartender, and Omen, I think that’ll probably help a lot. If I’m still lagging, I’ll just have to learn to compensate. And if I can’t do that, I’ll get a Ret offspec and just raid in that, dammit.

And now that I’m done freaking myself out over nothing… I’m going to go see if I can’t get Lis to level 45 tonight. Shouldn’t be too hard, if I can stomach Maraudon, Maraudon, and more Maraudon. Followed by Sunken Temple. Ugh. Can has BC 5-mans? Pls?

PvE

Loremaster and Aiming for 80

So I have two goals before Cataclysm hits. See, I know a lot of people are trying to finish off a bunch of achievements before the expansion – some because they might be gone or changed forever (Loremaster, The Explorer), and some… so they can say that they had it before Cata, I guess.

Because she’s my only level 80 character at the moment, Aislinn has been the one I’ve tried for most of my achieves on. I’m probably going to finish my “do all the old-world 5-mans” at some point on her, but that’s not really what I’m trying to do. What I’m trying to do is get her Loremaster. The problem, of course, being that she’s a Death Knight, and never actually did more than about 70 quests total in old world. She needs 1400. Plus finishing Outland and Northrend, which will be no small feat, either. On the way I’m hoping to also finish Master of Arms and Did Somebody Order a Knuckle Sandwich, as well as getting some work done on <a href=http://www.wowwiki.com/Ambassador_of_the_AllianceAmbassador.

However, all of that has been put on the backburner, because my favourite holy pally is planning on starting up her old raiding guild in Cata. And, as we were discussing on twitter yesterday, I would really be down with putting an app in. Which requires me to get Lisan to 85 (and Heroic gear) as quickly as possible once Cata hits. And the best way to do that is to get her levelled and geared in Wrath, pre-Cata. A bonus is I’m finally levelling her fishing while she’s waiting in the queue. Step 2: level herbalism. Step 3: ??? Step 4: PROFIT!

She’s sittin’ pretty halfway through 42 right now. I am fucking sick of Mauradon. I miss Uldaman. Seriously. I never thought I’d say that. She’s levelling entirely through healing instances (which sucks when the queues are 15+ minutes, even for healers), and most of her levelling is being done with a friend of mine who rolled and levelled a shadow priest specifically to run things with me. :) As he has his own guild and his own raids already, I doubt he’ll be following me to Kurn’s guild (provided I’ve got the stuff to get in *crosses fingers*), but that’s okay. :) For the time being, it’s just nice to have someone to complain with over vent when the tank’s being a dumbass. Also someone that I trust to pop a bubble on the tank if something happens and I can’t heal briefly. Like being LoS’d (happens all the time) or the tank ignoring that I declare my intentions to drink and pulling while I’m filling up my mana bar (also happens all the time).

I’m pretty excited about working on both my goals, to be honest. It’s kind of nice to be working towards things a bit more concrete than “oh, I’d like to reach 80 eventually, I guess…” which is my normal course of action.

And now I go to work obscenely early. Have a good day, my darlings!

PvE

Emblem Spending (and SM lag?)

So I earlier today, I had a dilemma.

I had 20 Emblems of Triumph and 53 Emblems of Frost on Aislinn, my only level 80. Aislinn, while only half-gemmed and un-enchanted, is geared in T9, and I’m quite pleased with that. Her DPS is generally under 2k (if I’m reading my DPS metres right), but only just, and I do my best with her. But I don’t think I’ll ever raid on her.

Lizzy is, on the other hand, slowly levelling up. She’s currently just shy of 34, and was wearing one piece of Heirloom gear – the Strengthened Stockade Pauldrons, PvP plate shoulders. They are not the best for a Healadin, but the 10% XP bonus is my favourite thing ever.

So my dilemma was this: I could convert my Frost and Triumph Emblems to get better shoulders and (after a few more randoms) an heirloom chest, or I could deal with what I have on Lizzy and wait until I had enough Triumph Emblems to leave my Frost alone. Sure, you can get 20ish Triumph with only a couple or four randoms, but I hate queueing for DPS and then sitting around for 20 minutes or more, EVERY TIME.

Thankfully, Hano was a dear and got on his Druid to tank, getting us through queues EXTREMELY quickly, and I got the emblems for the chest piece, anyway, if not the better shoulders. Cloth on a Paladin makes me laugh, but there’s no real good mail for a dedicated healer at this level. But it makes me wonder… if I HADN’T had Hano, what should I have done? What would you all have done?

In an unrelated note, I’m wondering if anyone else is having weird lag in certain instances? I have my normal 6-10 fps most of the time, and on all the Northrend heroics I’ve been running, but the minute I zone into any of the Scarlet Monastery wings, I drop to 1-2 fps, and it takes me a full 15-20 seconds to zone in. It’s weirding me out.

PvE

SM Graveyard, crappy tanks, and losing my groove

So I’ve hit that level range on Lizzy where the only instance that comes up in LFG is Scarlet Monastery Graveyard. On the one hand, it’s nice and short, easy to do a quick run-through before supper or in the half hour before my DnD group starts up (I play by chat). On the other hand, it doesn’t afford much in the way of loot. Worse still, it doesn’t afford much in the way of XP, which means I have to run it over and over and over and over again.

Thankfully, I think I’ve managed to get over the worst of the hump and will be getting some Library in there, too. Still hate it. Stupid Scarlet Monastery.

I’ve also got some truly awful tanks in SMG. I mean, I’ve had bad tanks before, but some of these gems… The guy who pulled the whole room of torturers at once and then LoS’d me after I asked him to wait a moment because I’d dropped temporarily to 1fps. Despite him, I actually managed to keep the rest of the group up while we hacked away at them – I died when there was one left at about 50% health, but everyone else lived, and the DPS shammy gave me a rez. The tank asked for one, too, and I told him to release his damn ghost and run. When he didn’t, the rest of us decided to clear up to the last boss, sit down, and wait until we were able to kick him. Amazingly, he actually never dropped group OR ran back. But given the distance, I don’t imagine he got much in the way of XP once we left the room behind, so I don’t really care. Plus he didn’t get his goodie bag, and the rest of us got to feel accomplished that a mage, a shaman, a hunter, and a holy paladin did a whole run by ourselves.

And then there was the lovely tank who put me on follow and did a grand total of NOTHING until he finally accidentally grabbed enough aggro to get killed (I didn’t heal him, since he wasn’t actually doing anything), at which point he declared that I was a crappy healer and dropped group. The rest of us had a nice lol about that.

My favourite had to be the warrior who queued as tank, and then within two seconds of getting aggro from even ONE MOB, his health would plummet. One mob dropped him immediately to about 80%, two would drop him to 60%… heaven forbid he get more than two mobs on him. Shockingly, I managed to keep him alive the whole time, but that was probably in part because he couldn’t keep aggro worth shit. Just… how do you even think you can tank when your health drops THAT dramatically in the first couple of hits?

Despite these shocking escapades, I haven’t been playing much since I got my account back up and running. I was in such a groove, as far as levelling and badge farming went, and then I couldn’t play for a couple of weeks and I’m having trouble getting back into it. This is horrifically frustrating for me, but I don’t know what I can do about it. I took a break the past few days to play Portal (since Steam is now available for Macs and Portal is being offered free until Monday), which was loads of fun, though I had rather horrific lag. Donna (my laptop – yes, I name my electronics) is very much not a gaming computer. She just doesn’t have the graphics quality or processing speed for it – WoW is about the most she can handle, and she doesn’t even handle that very well more often than not.

But I’ve destroyed GLaDOS (OR HAVE I??? *DRAMATIC MUSIC*), my DnD group got rescheduled to tomorrow, and I don’t have work in the morning, so maybe I’ll take tonight to try to find my mojo or my groove or whatever it is again. (incidentally, “How Apple Got Her Groove Back” just doesn’t sound right, and that makes me sad. …I have no life.)